"Growing Roots is, simply, a book about young farmers. While seemingly simple, this concept is actually somewhat revolutionary. It's pretty easy to go buy food, assuming you have the funds. It's easy to rely on others to grow your food, make your soap, pluck and debone your chickens, and brew your beer. But there are people who actually do these things, and this book is about them. In a time of daily technological advancements, wireless everything and a large portion of the population addicted to the idea that cheaper is better, it takes courage to slow things down and do something as archaic as obtaining self-sufficiency or following your passions. There is, of course, a growing movement toward this slower and more meaningful lifestyle, a trend toward neighbor and community, health and peace. While portions of the world surge forward, racing lemming-like toward who-knows-what, a growing percentage of people are simply hopping off the racetrack. They're your neighbors, they grow good food, and they want to sell it to you. It's such a simple but profound concept in contrast to how most of the country does it."-Joe Foster, Durango Herald
Writing about sustainable food by interviewing practitioners is a new direction for Leiner, who has authored novels for adults and children, among other works. Her first good decision was to frame the series of interviews within the narrative of her own routes across the country, especially between homes in New York and Colorado. This, rather than a dry organization by food type or practice, draws the reader from section to section effectively. The other significant strength of the book is how well its subjects' voices emerge. The sections are presented not as Q&A but as flowing monologs that permit bursts of personality-even eccentricity-through philosophical and practical ruminations. On the downside, some readers will tire of the earnestness that will appeal to others. The recipes in nearly every section, moreover, are not uniformly interesting and should have been better selected and edited.
Verdict Leiner presents readers with thought-provoking ideas throughout, cloaked in an eminently readable travelog. Inspirational and entertaining reading, though perhaps best suited for those who already subscribe to many of the same tenets.
The Sierra Club
The Green Life Blog-
This collection of interviews with a diverse group of organic farmers, raw-food chefs, winemakers, beekeepers, and slow-food advocates forms an intimate portrait of America's growing sustainable-food movement. Candid conversations are paired with recipes and tips from these passionate foodies, leaving readers feeling enthusiastic about the future of green cuisine.
"Growing Roots serves up generous portions of hope and mindful action. It's a book for everyone who cares about the earth and about feeding the people we love!"--Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Co-owner of New Leaf Fruit, Poet Laureate of San Miguel County, CO. author of Intimate Landscapes, Holding Three Things at Once, and Insatiable
"Growing Roots introduces us to a few dozen young food pioneers through their words and, even more usefully, their recipes. Think of it as a community cookbook for the food movement."--Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore's Dilemma and Food Rules
"It's a pleasure reading what these people have to say about what they're doing with their lives, and how they spend their days and what they make of their futures. They all have great stories. Taken together they comprise a national sampling of on-the-ground, in-the trenches food visionaries..."--Deborah Madison, from the Foreword
"Katherine Leiner has compiled a wonderful anthology of revolutionary individuals who continue to push for the holistic change we need to see in the food system."--Alice Waters, author of The Art of Simple Food and owner of Chez Panisse
"Growing Roots celebrates the people who have chosen to reclaim our endangered farming heritage...Read it and cook some of the good, fair, food using the book's delicious recipes."--Robert Kenner, Director-Producer of the award winning documentary, Food, Inc.
"Growing Roots is a wonderful revelation..."--A.E. Hotchner, author and co-founder of Newman's Own